Amazon seems to be getting larger and larger. The company is now all over the place. Last December, they started to market to offline consumers with their Amazon Go stores. Now, they are getting in the ring with Skype. Just recently, Amazon released its new app dubbed as Amazon Chime. At its core, Amazon Chime is a chat service and video conferencing app. Amazon claims that its "ace in the hole" is the app's superior technology which promises to provide improved group calls and remote meetings.
Amazon Chime is largely marketed to business users. It's available on many platforms like iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows. Currently, the app allows you to video chat eight people at once using your mobile device. If you are on your desktop, you can video chat up to 16 people by using the app.
Aside from the video chat, participants will be able to share files, including their screens. Participants will also be able to record the meeting, and this includes the shared files, and the voice video. It's also possible to participate in a meeting using your standard phone line. Of course, you will only be limited to the voice features if you choose such route.
Amazon boasts that Chime is totally secure as the app is using a 256-bit encryption which is also used in other Amazon Web Services. Amazon also claims that Chime will feature better audio quality because of its noise-cancelling wideband technology. Even with such technologies, the future street is not paved with easy profits.
Amazon Chime's main competitors are Citrix's GoToMeeting and Microsoft's Skype. Amazon may have to do a lot of pushing as Skype is heavily established as the go-to app for video conferencing. This is perhaps the reason why Amazon Chime is priced so competitively. For now, Amazon Chime costs $2.50 per month for the ‘Plus’ plan, and that's for one user. You can also get a bulk price for $15 a year which is also called the ‘Pro’ plan, and it allows 100 users. Let's compare that to Skype and GoToMeeting.
GoToMeeting is priced at $19 per month and it only allows 10 users. There's a plan for 100 users but it’s priced at $49 per month. Skype has a tricky pricing. If you use Skype for business that's being bundled with the online productivity suite (Microsoft Office 365), the basic plan starts at $5 per month and it's for one user. The upgraded plan costs $12.50 per month.
If you are interested about Amazon Chime but you are not yet ready to jump in, there is a comparison provided by Zapier. In the comparison, Amazon Chime is matched against 11 other video conferencing apps.
If you'd rather try Amazon Chime for yourself, then you'd be pleased to know that you can try it for free by selecting ‘free tier’ which allows calls between two people. You can also try the 30-day trial of the Pro plan as it doesn’t require a credit card to opt-in.